Roanoke College

Internships and Independent Studies



The Roanoke College Chemistry Department encourages students to pursue educational experiences off campus, working in various area industries. Past internships have included work in a hospital clinical laboratory, an environmental analysis laboratory, a crime lab, a cosmetics quality control laboratory, to name a few. Arrangements vary with each individual internship. In most cases, a student expresses an interest, and the Roanoke College Chemistry faculty work with the student and local contacts to arrange an appropriate internship experience.

Recent Internships Include:

  • Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital
  • Elizabeth Arden (a cosmetics manufacturer)
  • Head Start
  • Innotech, Inc.
  • Johns Hopkins University (a summer science program for children)
  • Merck Laboratories
  • NASA-Langley
  • ProChem (an environmental analysis firm)
  • Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
  • Western Regional Forensic Laboratory (crime lab)

For more information contact Dr. Gary Hollis at


Independent Study/Research
Classroom based learning is an important part of an undergraduate education. However, experiencing the full flavor of scientific work requires the addition of a different type of opportunity. Independent study research experiences are designed to complement regular courses by offering in-depth projects concentrating on one topic. Typically students work a full semester or a full summer on one particular project. Working closely with a faculty member, the student defines a research project, carries out experiments, and analyzes the results. The project culminates in a written report and oral presentation. Most students also present their projects at external scientific meetings, such as regional meetings of the American Chemical Society and similar groups. The department also offers smaller scale opportunities to explore research, through the Chem 205 course.

Click here to see Chemistry Dept. Guidelines for Independent Study Projects.

Click here to see Chemistry Dept. Research Paper Guidelines.

Click here to see Chemistry Dept. Guidelines for Student Travel.

Click here to see Guidelines for Preparing Large Posters.

Bondurant Scholar
Summer is an ideal time for immersing oneself in an independent study project. Many Roanoke graduates report their summer research experiences to be among the most memorable experiences of their undergraduate careers. To support the Chemistry Department's summer research program, a number of donors (including many past participants) have given money to the Bondurant Fund, which is used solely for the purpose of providing stipends to summer research students in the Chemistry Department. This support allows several students each summer to concentrate full time effort on their independent study projects.

Summer Scholars
Roanoke College has recently added a college wide program that also supports student researchers in the summer. A stipend and housing are provided for over a dozen students each summer, with projects drawn from all academic disciplines on campus. In addition to their disciplinary research, participants have regular meetings to share current research reports, and to explore other common interests such as learning the oral and written presentation skills they will use at the conclusion of their projects.

Examples of Summer Scholars projects: 

  • Rose M. Kohinke, working with Dr. Skip Brenzovich on "Palladium-Catalyzed Synthesis of New Chemical Reactions"
  • Michelle L. Pasier, working with Dr. Cathy Sarisky on "Characterization of potential IMPDHs in Mycobacterium tuberculosis"

Other Scholarships
Additional funding exists for students pursuing independent study projects. Certain research projects have external funding specific to that project. Those external grants cover both research expenses and student stipends.

For general information on undergraduate research opportunities, contact Dr. Cathy Sarisky at, or see her in room 565A of Trexler Hall.

For specific research interests and projects, see this link.